It's Alright

Writers - Void/Brightledge/Jefferson; additional lyrics by Tennant
First released - 1988
Original album - Introspective
Producer (album version) - Stephen Lipson, Trevor Horn; (single version) - Trevor Horn
Subsequent albums - Discography, PopArt, Concrete
Other releases - single (UK #5)

The classic house-music track "It's Alright" was originally performed by its co-writers, Sterling Void and Paris Brightledge (along with co-producer Marshall Jefferson, the latter now widely regarded as one of the chief originators of house music), although their original version is spelled "It's All Right." (See more about this below.) Neil and Chris heard it, loved it, and decided to cover it. A powerful song about the immortality of music, its vision is on nothing less than a cosmic scale. Music is sustained "on a timeless wavelength," whereby it asserts and helps to maintain human hope and dignity in the face of overwhelming obstacles. Neil provided (uncredited) some additional lyrics with a strongly ecological bent:

Forests falling at a desperate pace
The earth is dying and desert taking its place
People under pressure on the brink of starvation
I hope it's gonna be alright

Although Neil later observed that he had written these new lines "very hastily," he eventually became quite proud of them.

The album version of the song is dominated by a simple, repetitive piano motif, but Trevor Horn's single remix replaces the piano with a more elaborate synth line. An interesting sidenote emerges from certain extended remixes, which feature even more additional lyrics from Neil, including a reference to "a statesman standing at a crossroads." Although there's been some speculation that this may be a reference to Romania's former dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, Neil has stated that he was actually referring to Mikhail Gorbachev and the hopeful changes taking place in the Soviet Union (and the world in general) at that time. As for the video, with its dozens of babies representing hopes for humanity's future, it remains one of the most idiosyncratic that they—or, for that matter, any other pop/rock artist—have ever done.

Annotations

Mixes/Versions

Officially released

Official but unreleased

List cross-references